Animal Collective
Merriweather Post Pavilion


5.0
classic

Review

by PaveGoldSoundz USER (1 Reviews)
October 14th, 2010 | 67 replies | 3,361 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: If we ever have a pangaea party, this album is the soundtrack.

4 of 4 thought this review was well written

I bite my superlative tongue and voyage to say this anyway: Merriweather Post Pavilion is my favorite album of all time.

For two years prior to the release of MPP, Animal Collective's two most famous prior albums, Feels and Strawberry Jam, sat idle on my iPod, and their songs recorded only a few sporadic plays, each separated by months time. I had acquired the albums from a friend whose taste is not known to stray into pretentiousness or vanity. He assured me of their sonic fortitude and so I trusted him and gladly took them. Anytime I attempted a listen after that, however, I found that Animal Collective only frustrated me; they sounded unlike anything I had ever heard and I didn't get it.

Fast forward to January of this year: A somewhat dingy basement with faux-oak walls, a dingy lamp in the corner with a half-dead lightbulb, four desperate youths, and yes, I loathe to say, some choice substances. Perhaps it is true that it took a transcendental experience to finally absorb what Animal Collective was doing with their music, but that's precisely what happened and Merriweather Post Pavilion hit me like a wall like little else in music ever has. I believe it went like this: I think my friend put MPP on at some point, and I recall being somewhat zoned out, possibly masturbating in my mind to Obama in technicolor and indulging all my liberal philosophies into channels of real life moments whose velocities all equaled zero one after the other, and at some point I stopped - it was at the loopy beginning of "Summertime Clothes" - all thoughts lost, looked up, and said "Wowww! What is this!" My serotonin torrented through my synapses to the tips of my fingers and I reached out and touched it and I laughed in joy, we laughed in joy until we realized how late it was.

That's the context in which I first understood Animal Collective and the first time I met this album. I think the experience was the same for a lot of people with this album and with this band. I think nearly every person who has ever fallen in love with this band has a story to share pertaining to the moment they "found" AC. It's very much in the same way you remember what it was like when you found out the towers came down or when the Red Sox won the World Series - where you were, what you felt. For me, 9/11 was the moment I turned into a person and became aware of the world. A thirst for knowledge grew in me that actually had the effect, often, of isolating me from the rest of the world, a condition out of which a rookery emerged that is considerably responsible for spawning my passion for music. That apart, to this day I think 9/11 is the single defining moment of my life; and the ramifications of the hazard implicit in it, all its chance and randomness, still horrifies me - the consideration that an event that didn't necessarily have to happen could have such a bulldozing effect on a person. It's the reason I don't believe in God. The Sox World Series victory was a far less gravitational event but it did include one personal milestone. The whole thing was actually a surprisingly solitary moment for me. Even though the Sox victory felt fated all year and I expected it, my adrenaline still pumped and I was compelled by Joe Buck's "Back to Foulke...Red Sox fans have longed to hear it..." to sprint down my street to the end and back, faster and more energized than I've ever ran. I came back and watched the post-game ceremonies and interviews. One of the interviews was one Bob Lobel had with Tim Wakefield that made me cry. It was the first time compassion, respect, and joy brought me to tears.

My experience with MPP followed this mold and it is described above. The moment was singular, unlike any other I've had with music - with Radiohead's Kid A, with Neutral Milk Hotel's In The Aeroplane Over The Sea, with Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. This album isn't a wave - it's an ocean and I was swimming in it. I still swim in it. And every time I hear it, I have the same reaction as I had the first time I heard it. Maybe one of marijuana's most enchanting properties is its ability to inspire forever-conditioned reactions, for better or worse, after a simple unitary experience. I have the same precise feeling every time I hear the explosion of sound in the middle of "In The Flowers" and I laugh out loud in pure happiness every time I hear the verse that follows it. I do the same at the end of "Summertime Clothes." I feel the same feeling of endearment every time I hear the repeated lines that go "I don't mean to seem like I care about material things like my social status, I just want four walls and adobe slabs for my girls" and throughout all of "Daily Routine" and "Bluish." I picture the same clouds parting to blue sky 3 minutes and 23 seconds through "Daily Routine." I am amazed at the vocal chaos of "Guys Eyes" every time I hear it. I feel the same bewilderment of a band putting their entire sound together in a song in "Lion In a Coma" and I catch myself repeating "Lion in a coma, lion in a coma" at every conclusion of that song. I have the same urge to sing the choruses in "Bluish" and "Taste" like a teenie bopper sings songs by Miley Cyrus or The Jonas Brothers at a concert.

This is a pop album in the most organic sense, composed of classic 1960s-style pop songs, excavated and deconstructed and saturated within a confident panorama of electro-synth ecstasy that traverses centuries of music and sounds like what you might imagine the music would sound like at a party celebrating Pangaea's 4,540,000,000th birthday if Pangaea were still around. Past the modern apparatuses that create the majority of the sonic environment on this album, there is something deeply elemental about it that connects it to everything in the world and makes it feel comfortable and familiar. It is the past and future of pop music all at once. This is an easy, easy, easy listen once you "get" Animal Collective, and I would presume that can occur simply by forcing yourself to listen to the album and without the assistance of any mind-altering state. It is maybe the only album I know of that I'm confident that anybody, no matter their musical dispositions of taste, could learn to love if they let themselves enjoy it. I sincerely hope everybody does.


user ratings (2131)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
merriweather
October 14th 2010



619 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I think maybe you should describe more how the album sounds, but...I like you :3

iscarabaid
October 14th 2010



385 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

So I'm finding it eerily uncanny how you posted this review of your favorite album MPP right after my review on my favorite album Person Pitch...

Digging: Bodyguard - Silica Gel

Bitchfork
October 14th 2010



7584 Comments


So what's with the influx of really long and pretentious reviews about electronic-tinged experimental indie albums?

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
October 14th 2010



14886 Comments


its no william basinski

Ire
October 14th 2010



41472 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I was honestly about to say "It's no Animal Collective."

Bitchfork
October 14th 2010



7584 Comments


its no william basinski

Yeah I was listening to him yesterday and I can understand why someone would hate it, in fact I should hate it but I don't know, I get that feeling and it's just impossible.


SeaAnemone
October 14th 2010



18858 Comments


Feels is so much better it's not even funny

merriweather
October 14th 2010



619 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

hmm I've been wanting to 5 feels and sung tongs too but its just that they each have like 1 or 2 tracks that are good but not as good and bring the album down...

Bitchfork
October 14th 2010



7584 Comments


Feels is on the same level as this in every critical way imaginable.

SeaAnemone
October 14th 2010



18858 Comments


but they're pretty different

Kiran
Emeritus
October 14th 2010



5993 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Feels is on the same level as this in every critical way imaginable.

could you elaborate a little more on what this means?

Gyromania
October 14th 2010



14653 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Feels is on the same level as this in every critical way imaginable.

You really piss me off sometimes.

merriweather
October 14th 2010



619 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

wow alot of people here seem to really prefer feels lmao.

SeaAnemone
October 14th 2010



18858 Comments


why are you laughing your ass off, merriweather?

Gyromania
October 14th 2010



14653 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I love how pixelated this looks on the front page.

merriweather
October 14th 2010



619 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Idk I exaggerate when I use "lol" or "lmao". I thought most people did that. I think I do that to make my sentences sound nicer, like if I were to be like "wow alot of people here seem to really prefer feels." that would sound bitchier...

Gyromania
October 14th 2010



14653 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I geddit, it makes you a more approachable character.

SeaAnemone
October 14th 2010



18858 Comments


at least this reviewer has an acceptable band/album/song username... that helps.

theacademy
October 14th 2010



27703 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

sweet another review of this

[img]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_D2DO9ibMP0U/TBXBHVJfDoI/AAAAAAAAA-E/eggGJSy4ryA/s1600/thiswasallmyfault.jpg[/img]

deathofasalesman
October 14th 2010



5747 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Album art is optical illusion. Oh sweet 5.

Digging: Bango Skank - Demo



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